Mandela Tribute Page

Nelson Mandela

 “The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.”
Nelson Mandela

This week South Africa and the world witnessed the highest level of international consensus ever seen in recent times over the passing of a great political leader.

As an organization that strives to build international consensus to help resolve conflicts especially in Africa, SALO will continue to be guided and inspired by the life, dreams and words of Nelson Mandela.

  • Welile Nhlapo (Facebook entry 6th December 2013):

An extraordinary life of an ordinary man united the entire humanity in grief as the UN General Assembly observed a moment of silence in honour of our dear Madiba. The UN flag is flying in half staff…a first for a former Head of State.

 

  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered that after climbing a great hill, one finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” 

 

SALO staff at Burgers Park Hotel, Pretoria upon receiving the sad news of the passing on of the former President, Nelson Mandela.

SALO staff at Burgers Park Hotel, Pretoria upon receiving the sad news of the passing on of the former President, Nelson Mandela.

  • Elinor Sisulu (Facebook entry 6th December 2013)

Today has been a day of reminiscence. One that I would like to share is MaSisulu’s account of Mandela’s Statement from the Dock at the Rivonia Trial:

Mandela had spoken for five hours. The impact he had on the court was profound. Albertina recalls it as one of the most moving experiences of her life. : “Outside it was a cloudy day with a fine drizzle coming down. It was dark inside the courtroom and completely quiet. I could not take my eyes off Nelson standing there. Walter was sitting next to him. After an hour Walter passed him a glass of water. he went on describing our history and our struggle. By the time he reached the end of his address, we were moved beyond words. And the women! The women were all in tears. When he said ‘I am prepared to die’, I did not realise that tears were pouring down my face.”

When Mandela stopped speaking, there was complete silence for half a minute or more. His audience had just heard one of history’s great political speeches.

 

 Marissa van Rensburg (SALO Project Officer) with the Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, taken at the Madiba memorial at the FNB stadium on Wednesday the 11th of December 2013

Marissa van Rensburg (SALO Project Officer) with the Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, taken at the Madiba memorial at the FNB stadium on Wednesday the 11th of December 2013

  • Ms Isabella Matambanadzo – SALO Board Member (Email 6 December 2013)

 Thinking of each of you today at this time of our collective Epic loss of our beloved Mandela. The man who did so much to ensure that at home and away Africans enjoyed dignity. May his might soul know of our eternal love and gratitude.

 

  • Extracts from an address: “NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA – A REFLECTION” – By Bishop Rubin Phillip, Chair: SALO, 12 December 2013

How do we honour this life that was lived for us, that was lived for the world?This life that has been unexpectedly long and yet invariably too short?; this life that bore so much pain and yet finally, offered healing; this life that was imprisoned for so long and yet signaled freedom; that embodied struggle and, eventually, victory and yet witnessed too the erosion of the promises of that victory.

Read more here: On Madiba’s passing

 

  • African National Congress Statement, 6 December 2013Passing of Cde Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela  

“In the life of every nation, there arise men who leave an indelible and eternal stamp on the history of their peoples; men who are both products and makers of history. And when they pass they leave a vision of a new and better life and the tools with which to win and build it.”

 With deep sorrow and a profound sense of loss, the African National Congress received the sad news of the passing of our Isithwalandwe and former President, Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Read more here: African National Congress Statement – Mandela

 

  • NELSON MANDELA: A LEGACY TRANSCENDING CENTURIES – THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES – Joel Netshitenzhe, Executive Director (MISTRA), 06 December 2013

The attribute of great leadership is the ability at once to follow and to inspire. Its attendant punishment is the loss of the private self: becoming, often by default and sometimes by design, common property.

Read more here: A LEGACY TRANSCENDING CENTURIES – THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES

 

Mandela centre of memory 

Nelson Mandela Speaking on Palestine

“The United Nations took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system…but we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”  

NEWS BRIEFS:

                                                                                                   

SALO NEWS BRIEF – 15 December 2013

Mandela Unites Zimbabwe’s Political Party Opponents

Zimbabwe’s rival political party leaders united on Wednesday as they attended a memorial service in honour of the late South African President Nelson Mandela. – The Zimbabwe Mail

                                                                                                   

SALO NEWS BRIEF – 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela Death: South Africa and World Mourn

President Jacob Zuma has announced that Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president after he spent 27 years in prison.

BBC

Hamba Kahle Madiba

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Hamba Kahle Madiba.Dr Showers Mawowa, Senior Researcher, SALO.

Today, 6 December 2013, South Africa woke up to a future without founding president Nelson Mandela. He has passed on at 95. South Africa’s loss is also Africa’s and the world’s loss. Mandela’s life has touched many lives, true to his words “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Dr Showers Mawowa on Robben Island

Dr Showers Mawowa on Robben Island

As the ANC statement observes, “Our nation has lost a colossus, an epitome of humility, equality, justice, peace and the hope of millions; here and abroad”. The AU paid tribute to Mandela, describing him as symbolising “the spirit of Pan Africanism and solidarity in the struggles of humanity against apartheid, oppression and colonialism and for self-determination, peace and reconciliation… Mandela has fought a good fight…” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described him as “a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration”. Most people will certainly agree with President Zuma that, “Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.”

Mandela has taught us what it means to be free, that freedom starts from within.

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

According to Civicus, which represents NGOs in more than 100 countries, “Under Mandela’s presidency the foundations for an enabling environment for civil society in South Africa were laid, something which inspired similarly progressive laws and policies around the world.” 

Mandela on Africa, Peace and Conflict

He was a champion of peace in Africa. For Mandela, peace and prosperity in South Africa was indivisible to that of the continent.  He set the stage for South Africa’s prominent role in peace building and development in Africa.

“I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African patriot”.

“I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself…”

“I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses…”

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom”.

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“Peace is the greatest weapon for development that any person can have.”

Mandela on Women

“Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression.”

“For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity”.

“As a tribute to the legions of women who navigated the path of fighting for justice before us, we ought to imprint in the supreme law of the land, firm principles upholding the rights of women. The women themselves and the whole of society, must make this a prime responsibility.”

“Domestic violence, rape, abuse of women remain disgraceful blots on the reputation of a country that is called a miracle nation.”

“Freedom would be meaningless without security in the home and in the streets”.

“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse themtear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation”. – National Men`s March, 1997

The greatest honour we can give Mandela

The greatest honour that South Africans and the world can give Mandela is to live his legacy and pursue his ideals.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

Mandela has rested, but for us who remain, the long walk is not ended! May his legacy continue to inspire humanity that true freedom, economic, socio-political and otherwise, is possible.

Rest in peace, father of the nation!

Sudan, South Africa and the African Union mediation process

Summary of ProceedingsRoundtable Discussions

05 December 2013

Introduction

SALO hosted a visiting delegation of civil society representatives from South Kordofan in Sudan to participate in a Building International Consensus roundtable dialogue focused on the humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and the unfolding mediation process led by the African union High Level Implementation panel.

Map

 On 23rd September the African Union Peace and Security Council extended the mandate of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on North and South Sudan until December 2014.

 Chaired by former President Thabo Mbeki, and including former Presidents Abdulsalam Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya the AUHIP is tasked with assisting the Sudanese parties in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other related processes, as part of the democratic transformation of the Sudan. South Africa has a crucial role to play within this process.

 The private round-table discussion process included representatives of the South African Government and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Civil Society leaders and members of the International Diplomatic Community. The dialogue was aimed at building a deeper understanding of the context of Sudan, the current progress of the dialogue process and the challenges and opportunities for the International Community in supporting the AUHIP process.

 Summary of discussion

 The discussion included input from the visiting delegation and the participants from various stakeholders who collectively laid out the historical context out of which the current crisis in Sudan has emerged. These historical factors combine with a set of economic, political and geographical dynamics that have created an ongoing serious crisis in the regions of Sudan that border South Sudan.

 This extends all the way from the Central African Republic in the West and Ethiopia in the East, but has a particular affect on Abyei, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, areas in which the broader dynamics are compounded by the demands for self-governance by the groups that have historically inhabited these areas and by the presence of oil reserves, the sale of oil concessions to international interests and the oil-pipeline that runs north through Khartoum to Port Sudan. This pipeline is currently the only means by which South Sudan is able to transport the oil that falls within its borders.

 The complexity of the context has created a dire humanitarian crisis for people living in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. Daily aerial bombardments and intensive fighting between armed groups, as well as the politically motivated denial of access to humanitarian agencies have led to intensive food insecurity and an outbreak of diseases that have regional implications. No vaccinations against preventable diseases are taking place and there is severe malnutrition and little access to food and other basic needs, including health, clean water and education. Polio in particular threatens not only the Sudanese, but also neighbouring countries, as displacement and forced migration extends the risk of communicable diseases spreading over the borders.

 The underlying approach to governance, of a systematic divide and rule policy that has seen the marginalisation, exclusion and domination of minority groups in the North, is seen as part of the systemic and structural factors that lie at the root of current crisis. In addition the piecemeal approach by which the Comprehensive Peace Agreement has been implemented has seen many people in Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile rapidly losing confidence in the overall agreement.

 Delegates to the meeting stressed that the current approach of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities has zero tolerance for unconstitutional changes to government. Groups intent on using non-democratic or violent means to bring about change at the level of government would not be accepted. This approach leaves frustrated and marginalised groups with little option other than to pursue a path of dialogue, no matter how legitimate their grievances may be, or how unresponsive those in power may be to their concerns.

 The Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the AU High Level Implementation Panel is clearly engaged with the crisis in Sudan. However the extension of the mandate of the AUHIP provides an opportunity to renew the vigour demanded by the extent of the crisis in the areas that form part of the discussions focus. Parallel to this renewal of the AUHIP process an urgent humanitarian response focused on health and food security is required.

 One point of leverage would be to point out to all of the conflicting parties that if the dialogue process fails and is referred back to the United Nations Security Council it will be counter to the interests of all of the parties involved. It was noted that the Peace and Security Council had requested the AUHIP to consult with the East African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, IGAD, on the urgent need for a regional consultative conference on peace, security, cooperation, stability and development in the Horn of Africa.

 The meeting concluded with a strong call for an urgent humanitarian response that allows for immediate access to the population living in the Two Areas, for the international community and South Africa to strengthen and extend the mandate of the AUHIP, including the need to better resource and expand the capacity of the panel, and for civil society to work together to raise awareness of the ongoing crisis in the region and increase the political costs of not responding to the calls for humanitarian intervention and longer term deeper political and social solutions. These longer-term solutions must include plans for the democratisation and social transformation of Sudan and South Sudan.

 

Profiles of the visiting delegation:

 Osman Hummaida – Director, African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS)

Osman runs ACJPS, an NGO that works to monitor and promote respect for human rights and legal reform in Sudan. Based in Kampala it produces bimonthly Sudan Human Rights Monitor that tracks violations in the situation in Darfur, SK/BN and Sudan as a whole. One recent report entitled Sudan: No Space for Freedom of Expression (here) was released in April this year in response to the clamp down and closure of some civil society organisations, arbitrary detention, and violent suppression of the freedom of assembly. The report called on the African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights to call on Khartoum to respect freedom of expression assembly and association. Osman Hummaida led fact-finding commissions to Zimbabwe, Northern Uganda Chad and Sudan when he worked for FIDH. Osman speaks fluent English and Arabic.

Albaqir Mukhtar – Director, Al Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE)

Albaqir heads a Sudanese civil society organisation that works for the development of peace in Sudan through the implementation of human rights and cultural development projects. KACE does not publish reports much but focuses on activities – for example they have launched a website called altagheer.info which tracks how journalists are being treated. They are also preparing some Sudan filming for you tube and documenting killings from the recent uprisings (but would not like either of these initiatives to be made public). Albaqir speaks fluent English and Arabic and, after studying in the US, decided recently to return to Sudan to help his country in one of the forerunner civil society groups in the country. The organisation was set up in Khartoum but last year was closed down by the government so it now operates from Kampala.

 Nagwa Konda – Executive Director, Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Organisation (NRRDO)

Nagwa heads up one of the few local civil society organisations working in South Kordofan to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the conflict. They are also the only provider of education services in South Kordofan where most teachers have fled, where only a little over half the primary schools are open, and only one secondary school. Children are traumatised by the bombing and trauma due to bombing, insecurity, and destroyed livelihoods further reduce attendance at schools. She is fresh from a mission to the region and able to share her personal testimony and the latest information including the current extent of severe acute malnutrition which has been observed recently in refugee and IDP communities – communities are starting the harvesting season but this is normally accompanied by increased indiscriminate bombing. The last month saw bombing and active ground hostilities across most counties in  SK/BN resulting in ongoing displacement and refugee outflows into S Sudan and Ethiopia. She may have reports on cases of polio (which awaits a vital vaccination programme delayed since 2011) and yellow fever. Nagwa speaks fluent English and Arabic.

SALO workshop: Reflections on the First Round of the Malagasy Presidential Elections and the Prospects for Peace and Security – 3 December 2013

 

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Workshop Venue:   The Town House Hotel, Cape Town CBD

Speakers:

  • Enver Daniels Chief State Law Adviser at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.   Served as head of the Troika legal team on Madagascar. 
  • Tsiresy Bernard Malagasy student at UCT, involved with civil society and community development organisations in Madagascar
  • Zara Randriamanakoto– Malagasy student at UCT

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From left to right – Enver Daniels, Tsiresy Bernard and SALO’s Marissa van Rensburg

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Above – Zara Randriamanakoto